Can you think of a more comforting way to start your day than by sinking your feet into cozy, luxurious carpeting? This flooring favorite brings softness to playrooms, slip resistance to stairways, and sound-dampening qualities to bedrooms and offices. And with so many design options, you won't have to worry about complementing your home's aesthetic.
Types of Carpet
Options abound when it comes time to pick your carpet style. Are you in the market for a hard-working loop carpet in your bustling office or an indulgent, velvety plush carpet that gives just enough under your feet with each step? You can also bring dimension to your space with textured or patterned carpeting that's brilliant at hiding footprints.
All About Carpet
Shopping for a new carpet isn't as easy as it sounds. There are so many decisions to make between taking that first research step and actually stepping onto your new carpeting. What style best suits how you and your family live? Do you want a sturdy loop or a softer cut pile? Plus you've got to decide on the carpet material, hue, and carpet installation!
Thankfully, you can avoid getting overwhelmed with the help of your local Flooring America expert, who can walk you through the process and identify various carpets, even carpets on sale!
Carpet Pile Types
Loop carpetfibers are just as they sound—closed loops of yarn with no exposed tips. Low-pile carpet, like berber, results in a more structured feel underfoot.
Cut pile carpet has cut yarns of the same length with exposed ends. If the fibers are short and densely packed, it's considered plush carpet. Longer fibers that are twisted and cut are frieze, which looks like a distant cousin of old-school shag carpeting.
Cut and loop pile carpeting offers a mixture of loop and cut strands, leading to a textured pattern that's easier to clean and good for busy areas of the home.
Nylon - This synthetic fiber is supremely durable and very popular because of it! Nylon not only feels soft under your feet but it also bounces back so you can expect fewer footprints. You won't have to worry about stains and fading or mold and mildew.
Polyester - Also synthetic, polyester carpet fibers are hypoallergenic, which asthma and allergy sufferers appreciate. This material also repels moisture while resisting odors and stains. Plus, it has an eco-friendly sibling, known as PET polyester, which is made from recycled plastic bottles!
Olefin - Olefin is a synthetic material that's most often used as backing for area rugs and carpets. Its water resistance makes it perfect for porches and other indoor/outdoor areas.
Wool - These natural fibers sheared from sheep make for soft, environmentally-friendly carpeting that's inherently water resistant.
So many factors go into determining the look of your optimal carpet choice. What material makes the most sense for the nonstop foot traffic your main floor sees each day? What style best complements your contemporary decor? What type of cut and yarn height will deliver that dreamy comfort you crave when you wake up each morning? Finally, what color do you want to fill a large part of your home for the next several years?
Some carpet materials do a better job of not fading than others, especially synthetics such as polyester. A process called solution dyeing adds color during the fiber creation process, resulting in rich, fade-resistant hues.
How To Maintain Carpet
Routinely cleaning your carpet is the least you can do to keep your investment in good shape for years to come. It's as easy as vacuuming weekly to collect any hair, dust, and other allergens. When your neighbor spills her wine during book club, treat it right away based on the care instructions from the manufacturer. If you know your entire household is accident-prone and messy accidents are inevitable, consider waterproof carpeting options.
A carpet's durability depends not just on the material it's made of, but also on its pile type and the wear it sees. For instance, using an olefin carpet in your busy living room is not recommended since its fibers have a low melting point and can easily clump together with friction. To get maximum durability from your new carpet, work with your local Flooring America expert to choose the best carpet option for your home.
Carpet Installation and Lifespan
Once you've picked out your carpet selection, you're eager to get it installed! The process isn't complicated, but it does require skill, a specialized set of tools, and some experience. A professional installer will ensure that every step of the process is completed, from subfloor prep to the final walkthrough. You'll be able to sleep at night knowing your warranty protection is still in place.
Another benefit to professional installation? A longer lifespan for your new carpeting! Though carpet generally lasts for many years, it really does vary from home to home based on general wear and activity levels. Get all you can from your carpeting by making good choices on some key factors, like:
Spot cleaning based on the manufacturer's instructions
Carpeting a large, expansive area of your home or office? Wall-to-wall carpeting may be just the answer, as it comes in wide rolls several feet long, making it easier to install. Pick between solid hues and fun, bold patterns in a handful of carpet styles and fibers.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Carpeting
When you're deciding whether to buy carpet or another type of flooring, it's helpful to consider the pros and cons of each.
Carpet has several pros that your family may benefit from, including:
Cozy, warm vibe thanks to soft, luxurious carpet fibers
A huge variety of colors and styles
The thickness that helps insulate, dampen sound and soften any falls
A few factors that are worth considering include:
Regular vacuuming to reduce allergens and keep it clean
May require more time to maintain than other flooring types
Can retain moisture if there's a spill or leak, leading to mildew if not cleaned
What is the best grade of carpet?
Of the three carpet grades available, high-end carpets provide the most durability and highest quality. Most likely, the carpet you see in your next-door neighbor's trendy living room is a medium-grade carpet, while the carpet in your kindergartener's classroom may be low-grade (also called builder grade).